Environmental Oil Spill Sensitivity Atlas

Danish Centre for Environment and Energy, DCE (formely named The National Environment Research Institute, NERI) has developed an Environmental Oil Spill Sensitivity Atlas covering West Greenland off shore waters and coastal areas particularly sensitive to oil spills. The Atlas has been prepared to provide oil spill response planners and responders with tools to identify resources at risk, establish protection priorities and identify appropriate response and clean-up strategies. The atlas enables oil companies and authorities to incorporate environmental consideration into exploration and contingency plans. The atlas provides an overview of such aspects as the occurrence of wildlife, human resource use (fishing and hunting) and archaeological sites that are particularly sensitive to oil spills. Furthermore it contains information regarding the physical environment – coastal types, oceanography – logistics and oilspill response methods.

Solid information on maps

The information derives from numerous scientific studies and from local knowledge achieved from interviews with local fishermen and hunters in almost all settlements within the mapped region. The coast is divided into segments of app. 50 km lengths, and each segment is classified according to its overall sensitivity to marine oil spills. The information is collated on two main sets of digital charts: Shoreline sensitivity maps shows index values for coastal sensitivity and symbols for the significant elements of the classification (hunting and fishing areas, fish, birds, marine mammals and archaeological sites). Each map has a description of biological resources and human use of the area. Physical environment and logistic maps shows coast types, logistics and proposed methods to oil spill response for each area.

The atlas consists of four parts covering the following areas:

  • South Greenland region (Labrador Sea) 58°-62°N
  • West Greenland region (Davis Strait) 62°-68°N
  • West Greenland region (Disko West) 68°-72°N
  • Northern West Greenland 72°-75°N

The atlas can be accessed at NERI’s webpage here

Strategic Environmental Impact Assessments and other related studies

NEW: An overview of the environment of the Disko/Nuussuaq area presents important information in relation to future activities. The SEIA also offers an assessment and risk evaluation of the environmental impacts from petroleum exploration and exploitation activities. Disko Island and Nuussuaq Peninsula, West Greenland. A strategic environmental impact assessment of petroleum exploration and exploitation. Wegeberg, S. & Boertmann, D. (eds). 2016.  Aarhus University, DCE – Danish Centre for Environment and Energy, 108 pp. Scientific Report from DCE – Danish Centre for Environment and Energy No. 199.

Jameson Land. A strategic environmental impact assessment of hydrocarbon and mining activities. A strategic environmental impact assessment of hydrocarbon and mining activities. Hansen, J., Asmund, G., Aastrup, P., Mosbech, A., Bay, C., Tamstorf, M. & Boertmann, D. 2012. Aarhus University, DCE – Danish Centre for Environment and Energy, 94 pp. Scientific Report from DCE – Danish Centre for Environment and Energy Nr. 41.

The Davis Strait. A preliminary strategic environmental impact assessment of hydrocarbon activities in the eastern Davis Strait. Merkel, F., Boertmann, D., Mosbech, A. & Ugarte, F. (eds). 2012. Aarhus University, DCE – Danish Centre for Environment and Energy, 280 pp. - Scientific Report from DCE – Danish Centre for Environment and Energy Nr. 15.

South Greenland. A Strategic Environmental Impact Assessment of hydrocarbon activities in the Greenland sector of the Labrador Sea and the southeast Davis Strait. Frederiksen, M., Boertmann, D., Ugarte, F. & Mosbech, A. (eds) 2012. Aarhus University, DCE – Danish Centre for Environment and Energy, 220 pp. Scientific Report from DCE – Danish Centre for Environment and Energy No. 23.

The western Greenland Sea, a strategic environmental impact assessment of hydrocarbon activities. Boertmann, D. & Mosbech, A. (eds.) 2012. Aarhus University, DCE – Danish Centre for Environment and Energy, 268 pp. - Scientific Report from DCE – Danish Centre for Environment and Energy no. 22.

Disko West: A strategic environmental impact assessment of hydrocarbon activities. Boertmann, D., Mosbech, A., Schiedek, D., Dünweber, M. (eds) 2013. Aarhus University, DCE - Danish Centre for Environment and Energy, 306 pp. - Scientific report from DCE - Danish Centre for Environment and Energy no. 71

Eastern Baffin Bay: A Strategic Environment Impact Assessment of hydrocarbon activities. Boertmann, D., Mosbech, A. (eds) 2011. Aarhus University, Department of Bioscience, 270 pp. - Scientific Report from DCE - Danish Centre for Environment and Energy no. 9 Baffin Bay SEIA:

MANUAL FOR SEABIRD AND MARINE MAMMAL SURVEY ON SEISMIC VESSELS IN GREENLAND 3rd revised edition, May 2012

To increase the knowledge of seabird and marine mammal distribution and abundance in Greenland the Bureau of Minerals and Petroleum (BMP) has made it mandatory for seismic vessels operating in Greenland to collect seabird and marine mammal observation data. The marine areas in Greenland are important for many seabird and marine mammal populations, and some marine mammal and seabird species are also very important living resources utilized by Greenlanders. However, the knowledge of seabird and marine mammal distribution and abundance in Greenland is sparse and as oil activities may have an impact on marine mammals and seabirds more knowledge is needed for Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) work and planning. This manual describes how to do the seabird and marine mammal observations from a seismic vessel in a standardized way. The manual follows the international standard method for seabird surveys from ships (Tasker et al. 1984; Webb & Durinck 1992), but it is more specific and detailed to ensure the observtions will have full value and can be combined and utilized in quantitative analyses.

Baffin Bay and Greenland Sea areas, North West and North East Greenland;

Danish Centre for Environment and Energy:
Seabird baseline studies in Baffin Bay, 2008-2013. Colony-based fieldwork at Kippaku and Apparsuit, NW Greenland.
Frederiksen, M., Falk, K., Huffeldt, N.P., Johansen, K., Labansen, A.L., Linnebjerg, J.F., Merkel, F., Mosbech, A. 2014.
Aarhus University, DCE – Danish Centre for Environment and Energy, 58 pp. Scientific Report from DCE – Danish Centre for Environment and Energy No. 110.

National Environmental Research Institute:
SR09 - Eastern Baffin Bay - An updated strategic environmental imapct assesment of hydrocarbon activities, DCE 2011

National Environmental Research Institute:
FR721 - Seabirds and Marine Mammals in Northeast Greenland - Aerial survey in spring and summer 2008
NERI, 2009

DTU-Space/Center for Oceans and Ice, Danish Meteorological Institute:
Sea Ice Conditions off NE Greenland from Satellite Measurements, Airborne and In-situ data
DTU Space/DMI/BMP 2011

DTU-Space/Center for Oceans and Ice, Danish Meteorological Institute:
Sea Ice Conditions off NW Greenland from Satellite Measurements, Airborne and In-situ data
DTU Space/DMI/BMP 2011

Danish Meteorological Institute:
Ice and Metocean conditions off the Northeast Coast of Greenland
DMI 2008

Danish Meteological Institute:
Weather, Sea and Ice conditions in Eastern Baffin Bay, Offshore Northwest Greenland: A review
Copenhagen, 1996


Danish Meteological Institute:
Technical Report 06-06: Oil drift and fate modelling at Disko Bay,
DMI 2006


Danish Meteological Institute:
Technical Report 06-07: HYCOM for the North Atlantic Ocean with special emphasis on West Greenland Waters
DMI 2006

 

Davis Strait area, West Greenland (63°-67° North);

The Davis Strait: A preliminary strategic environmental impact essessment of hydrocarbon activities in the eastern Davis Strait.
Merkel, F., Boertmann, D., Mosbech, A., Ugarte, F., 2012. Aarhus University, Department of
Bioscience and Greenland Institute of Naturals Resources, 280 pp. Scientific report from DCE-
Danish Centre for Environmental and Energy no. 15

Danish Meteological Institute and Bureau of Minerals and Petroleum:
Weather, Sea and Ice conditions offshore West Greenland - focusing on new licence areas 2004
Copenhagen, 2004

Mineral Resources Administration for Greenland:
Physical Environment of Eastern Davis Strait and Northeastern Labrador Sea: An overview
Copenhagen 1998

Grønlands forundersøgelser, Grønlands miljøundersøgelser
Bekæmpelse, spredning og nedbrydning af oliespild fra blowout samt effecter af oliespild på fisk, fugle og havpattedyr ved eventuelle efterforskningsboringer i det vestgrønlandske havområde syd for 66° N (combating, spreading and dispersion of oil spills from blowouts and impacts of oil spills in fish, birds and marine mammals from potential exploration drilling activities in the West Greenland offshore area south of 66° N)
Råstofforvaltningen for Grønland, 1993

Greenland Survey 2001-1:
Distribution and Variability of Icebergs in Eastern Davis Strait 63 N to 68 N
Bureau of Minerals and Petroleum, 2001

Labrador Sea area, South of 60° North

South Greenland: A Strategic Environmental Impact Assessment of hydrocabon activities in the Greenland sector of the Labrador Sea and the southeast Davis Strait.Greenland sector of the Labrador Sea and the southeast Davis Strait.
Frederiksen,  M., Boertmann, D., Ugarte, F., Mosbech, A. (EDS) 2012. Aarhus University, Department of Bioscience and Greenland Institute for Natural Ressources, 220 pp. Scientific Report from DCE - Danish Centre for Environment and Energy no. 23